Of course. As soon as I wrote Barca need to add depth this summer, they announce that they’re summer spending will only total 40 million euros. Poor guys. Still, even including a potential selling or two, that will likely bring in one of Fabregas, Sanchez, and Rossi and nobody else. Their playing a clever game now by offering Bojan, Alcantara and cash to both Arsenal and Udinese. Unfortunately for them, Bojan himself would rather go to Roma. Honestly, though, that doesn’t look likely right now. Anyways, the point is Barca will have three teams forced to go lower and lower to sell because of each other. They will probably get Cesc Fabregas as Udinese have other suitors.
I say it’s a good deal for Arsenal. Whenever, I think Barcelona transfer, I think mistakes. Remember that Ibra-Eto’o disaster? This could easily be the same thing. Barce don’t need Fabregas as much as Arsenal need a striker, and Bojan and Alcantara are 15 million euro players to me. They’ll both improve, even if not as much as they would at Barcelona.
Udinese is also smart here. The asking price for Sanchez has actually deterred Manchester United! With the Catalans out of the running, it’s England or Italy. Sanchez doesn’t like Manchester City, and Liverpool is unlikely. They’re not even in the Champions League. Chelsea has more on their mind, and the player is thought to prefer Serie A. His style certainly fits well there. So Inter Milan, possibly even a stay at Udinese.
Barcelona’s decision will change the outcome of the entire transfer window. Sanchez will go to Inter, meaning Tevez won’t go there. He’ll likely stay in Manchester. Also, Arsenal will have to keep Samir Nasri, which in turn all but assures Manchester United getting Ashley Young. Arsenal would be flush with cash to finally buy players like Eden Hazard, Mathieu Delpierre, Neven Subotic, and a forward. Arsenal and Spurs are going head to head for Falcao and Leandro Damiao, but I find it hard to imagine one club getting both.
The big story of the transfer window is indeed become Arsenal’s failings. If Arsenal don’t get at least these four players, the frustration continues, and next year could be a disaster. Yoosof Farah sums it up best. Arsenal is already behind the other premier league giants and all of their targets could easily go to other clubs. No one will miss Denilson and Bendtner, but Abou Diaby to Spurs and Gael Clichy to Liverpool are both going to happen.
More Barcelona decision aftermath: Guiseppe Rossi goes to Juventus instead while Manchester City can’t buy too many more players. They get Hulk, so Pastore goes to Chelsea. It won’t stop their either: every major signing will get affected.
Real Madrid will probably sign Aguero, but may not get Coentrao after all. Madrid is looking into Maicon, an obvious sign of unease. Bayern Munich is very likely, but he did say he wouldn’t leave Benfica unless it was to Real. I don’t pretend to know anything about where he will end up.
THE FAILED DEALS
4. Samir Nasri, Arsenal
3. Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus The most underrated story of the transfer window is that Roma likely won’t get Buffon. Julio Cesar also said no, so Sergio Romero is likely their next goalie.
2. Carlos Tevez, Manchester City
1. Neymar, Santos He’s expensive and there is no need to rush any deal.
THE YOUNG STARS
6. Ganso, Santos to Inter AC Milan have bids for Drogba, Neymar, Lamela, and possibly Aquilani. They won’t be able to get him, too, so Inter likely will.
5. Falcao, Porto and Leandro Damiao, Internacional One to Spurs, the other to Arsenal.
4. Hulk, Porto to Manchester City Here’s my bold prediction. Manchester City will make at least one big signing and I’m guessing it will be Hulk.
3. Erik Lamela, River Plate to A.C. Milan
2. Eden Hazard, Lille to Arsenal
1. Javier Pastore, Palermo to Chelsea They’ve already had one bid rejected, but they’re still favorites and he seems likely to leave the club.
ARGENTINA’S STRIKER DILEMMA
-Lionel Messi: There is no doubt the best player in the world will make the starting lineup, despite not playing as well for Argentina as with Barca.
-Carlos Tevez: Started in the World Cup, and had a great season with City. Seems to be losing his desire and after his recent injuries and exclusions from the team ,will likely find himself on the bench for most of the Copa America.
-Gonzalo Higuain: Being a back-up for Real Madrid, typically means a top-class starter at the International level. His lack of minutes is a worry, but his explosive dribbling on the wing makes him hard to leave out of any team. I would star him, but the coach is leaning toward Aguero right now.
-Sergio Aguero: One of La Liga’s top strikers in his prime but remains overshadowed by his Argentine teammates. Should get plenty more chances with the Abiceleste.
-Ezequiel Lavezzi: One of Serie A’s top strikers, he is said by opposing coaches to be the scariest of Napoli’s “Golden Triangle”, despite Cavani’s 26 goals. In typical Argentine fashion, and like other strikers on this list, his main strengths are dribbling and strength on the ball.
For anyone else to get a chance, even Diego Milito, another of Serie A’s best and a starter at Inter, would require a major squad overhaul. If it does happen, they have a wealth of strikers playing abroad. By the time the 2014 World Cup rolls around, rising stars like “the new Messi,” Erik Lamela, will be the age Messi is now, and there will be the inevitable clamor to add them to the squad as well.
Argentina will likely play a 4-3-3 so Angel Di Maria will start on the wing in the last “forward” position.
Messi may not be considered a typical central forward, and if he starts there, the priority for Argentina is a central midfielder who can keep all the offensive stars involved. Is Javier Pastore that man? If they find him, their main problem in upcoming tournaments will be totally forgetting about an aging defense.
By the way, Messi, Higuain, and Di Maria are all twenty-three. I’m not picking against them in 2014…
Next time, I’ll focus on the international scene, with European U-21’s, Gold Cup, and Copa America to discuss. Best of all, no Carlos Tevez!